Deco Delight: London’s 45 Park Lane

With the Olympics on the horizon, London hoteliers have been in a heated race of their own to launch their new and revamped properties before the opening ceremonies. As a result, London now boasts a totally vibrant and happening hotel scene. Take 45 Park Lane the cool new sister hotel to the more staid Dorchester. Architecture and design junkies have been buzzing about 45 Park Lane which is housed in a building designed by Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius. The sophisticated revamp that celebrates the hotel’s Art Deco roots, but adds a 21st century spin, was the vision of celebrated architect Thierry Despont.

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Wolfgang Puck launched his first venture into London’s foodie scene with his new steakhouse Cut at 45 Park Lane. The soaring ceilings, stunning lights, and wood paneled walls provide a striking backdrop. Artwork by Brit bad boy artist Damien Hirst punctuates the space.

The hotel boasts an enviable contemporary art collection which includes work by Damien Hirst (shown above), Sir Peter Blake, Christian Furr, Brendan Neiland, and Bruce McClean. The well-curated collection is displayed both in the public areas of the hotel and the guest rooms.

The building was formerly home to London’s Playboy Club and much of the buzz is about how the interiors still have that clubby, masculine sensibility of that swinging 60s hotspot. True, but I think the design is way more interesting than that. While the overall look is crisp and tailored in sophisticated finishes like glossy woods,  and leather–there is a subtle hint of feminine softness in the art, the plush beds, and the beckoning velvet sofas. It is a very compelling design yin and yang.

The hotel is located in London’s posh Mayfair district, right off of Hyde Park and a stone’s throw from its sister hotel The Dorchester. The 45-room boutique property offers guests a more intimate (and frankly cooler) hotel option in a neighborhood known for its grand hotels. In honor of the Olympics I will be featuring a few more London properties in the coming weeks. If you’re in London this summer, email me spots you think our readers might want to check out. Happy Travels!

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